The Society for the Fulfillment of the Venus Ideal
(The Fourth and Final Chapter in the Venus Chronicles)
by Dave Potter
The following tale is to be the fourth and concluding chapter in my four part Venus Chronicles. It brings together all the strains and ideas introduced in the earlier tales, and was inspired by comments by an Italian reader who wished to know more of the workings of the Society itself. Here we penetrate its heart and soul and hopefully enjoy the experience of doing so.
Whilst I do freely declare that this is the final chapter that I shall be writing in the Venus Chronicles, please do not let that deter you from adding to them yourself and introducing new depths, depravities and perversion to the Society for the Fulfillment of the Venus Ideal.
Comments, as always, more than welcome.
Chapter 1 – Tragedy in Malmo
I suppose I should begin by introducing myself. My name is Elvira, Elvira Lundstrom, and I am, as you may have guessed from my surname, a citizen of Sweden. On top of that, I am also a cashier in the local bank, a widow, an enthusiastic hill walker, an avid reader and a mother. And it is the last of all those which concerns this story most.
As I told you I am a widow. Twenty five years ago I married Owe, the sweetest, gentlest man on this earth. And together we had a child. We’d always wanted two, but alas he died before that dream could be fulfilled. Still, one daughter is a greater gift than many are blessed with in their lives, so I can’t complain. And what a daughter she is, my dear, sweet, pretty Maria. Well behaved as a child, always polite and helpful, worked hard at school, and was not even moody as a teenager. All in all she was all that a mother could ask for and enjoyed a happy life until…
Until THAT day, the day that I shall remember all my life.
The day when my Maria disappeared.
I knew that something was wrong immediately. She was never later in coming home from school unless she was going to visit one of her friends – Martina, Gabriella or Gretcha – but then she always phoned home first. I waited an hour, then I called her classmates. ‘No, Mrs. Lundstrom, she set off straight for home just as she always does, she’s not here.’ Then I contacted the police. For a whole month they searched, I appeared on TV and asked for information. The officer speculated that she had perhaps run away from home, or committed suicide. But I knew my Maria too well, she was happy and contented. She would never do anything like that. ‘She’s been kidnapped,’ I protested. ‘Nonsense,’ said the Inspector, ‘There’s been no note, kidnappers always demand something, unless…’ He didn’t finish the sentence, and I didn’t ask him to. Neither of us wanted to think the worst.
Now I’ve something to tell you. A little admittance to make. I’m not ashamed of it but, well… I’d prefer it if you didn’t spread it around, if you know what I mean. What I’m trying to say is that well, much as it is something that a middle-class, middle-aged, respectable Swedish lady shouldn’t be doing, for a long time now I have been a devotee of certain websites. You know the sort I mean, well, perhaps you do. I don’t go in for perverted pictures, porn, that sort of stuff, no not at all. But well, as I said before, I am an avid reader, and well, I do like reading those stories, the ones with sex in them, you know what I mean. Well, there it is, it’s out, and well, that’s it. I like daily to read them, on sites such as Storysite, Fictionmania, Tight Tales, LISA… LISA, yes, LISA. The Long Island Staylace Association; a site dedicated to corsetry, both its lighter and darker sides. I’d been reading on there, it often has good tales, fiction. But then some of the stories on there, well, they started to sound, more factual than fictional. I guessed that it was just my imagination, but well, there was this one writer – Dave Potter – and his stories. They were sick, about women being laced into Venus Corsets, dominated by men, that sort of thing. I am a feminist, I detest that sort of subjugation of women, and yet… and yet, much as they disgusted me, I kind of liked those stories. But they sent a shiver down my spine, as I said, they seemed too real. The guy seemed to be writing from personal experience.
There was a Society, a secretive group of individuals, male of course, who kept their women trussed up and armless. In one story he even wrote about them transforming a young boy into a girl and then putting him in a Venus Corset as well. They were all over the world – the States, Holland, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia – and they kidnapped people.
It played on my mind. Why, I know not. After all, aren’t women kidnapped and subjected to… well, by countless hundred, thousands of sick individuals. Why would it be Them who had taken my Maria. And yet… yet she was the type they liked, beautiful, young, submissive, doll-like with her blonde hair and blue eyes. Night after night I tossed and turn, unable to sleep, sick with worry. Then, I decided. The following day I quit work and embarked on my quest to get my darling daughter back.
Chapter 2 – The Search Begins…
I hooked up to the internet and printed the stories out. There were three in total that concerned the Society – Araksia, Gabrielle van Hessel and Ihbat. The author, Dave Potter, had also written some other stuff, but none of it concerned what I was interested in, although some of the themes were similar, the usual corsetry, domination, the doll ideal. It was all, as I said before, pretty sickening, especially to a dyed-in-the-wool feminist myself, and yet at the same time… well that’s escapism for you isn’t it? After printing them off I sat down and reread them. As I mentioned earlier, I am an avid reader, but I should have been more precise. I am an avid reader of detective stories, and finally, here was my chance to put all those techniques garnered from Agatha Christie, van Wettering and Ruth Rendell novels into practice. And as the only clues I had were the stories, I knew that that was where I had to begin. I got out a notepad and wrote down my findings.
Araksia: The story concerns a young Armenian girl tricked into marriage and taken to America where she is forced to live an armless existence somewhere in California. Later on she moves to a palace somewhere in Saudi Arabia. Her husband is also an Armenian.
Gabrielle – Set in the 1830s. Concerns a Dutchman, van Wettering who marries a girl, Gabrielle, who has been brought up under her uncle’s instruction, forever restrained in some way, not necessarily the arms. The Society is not mentioned.
Ihbat – Concerns a Greek boy, kidnapped on his way home from school (!), who is taken to some school, (location unknown), transformed into a woman of Purdah, (living separate from society, veiled, etc). Then married off to a man, (Society Member), living presumably in Arabia.
Points to Consider.
The Society: Full name The Society for the Fulfillment of the Venus Ideal. According to I. Set up by van Wettering along with his father-in-law after the events described in G. Uses the Venus de Milo as an ideal of feminine perfection. Lots of details given of how women are subjacated, methods of restraint etc. May be useful later, not now though. The Society seems to use kidnapping, internet marriage and also hints, (in Araksia), of searching in brothels, etc, to procure it’s ladies. The Society is very international in character; members, wives or their maids mentioned from Saudi, the States, Armenia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Colombia, Greece, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Dave Potter: Who is he? The name is English but probably a cover. Writes in English, (but there again so do I). Other stories set in Germany, Russia, Britain and India. Int. note: Uses British spelling, thus prob. not American.
Locations: These are many and varied. Armenia, California, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Greece. Many descriptions vague, (e.g. Californian mansion, Saudi), but one place minutely described. Zierikzee, Netherlands.
I knew where to start my search.
Chapter 3 – Zierikzee
I took the Volvo out of the garage and started up the engine. Ten hours later I was crossing over the bridge that leads to Schouven Duiveland, the island on which the town of Zierikzee stands. It was easy to tell that I was headed in the right direction as the tower of the mighty St. Liven’s church, the coffin-like House of the Lord where Gabrielle and Wilhem van Wettering supposedly married, towered above the pancake-flat Dutch landscape. I drove the car into town as the light was failing, and booked into a small hotel in the ancient centre.
The following morning I arose fresh and early and ready to embark upon my quest. In Potter’s story two locations were described with much realism. In order to gather if the tale was true, or at least based on the truth, I had first to check them out. And so it was that I went down to the friendly lady on reception and asked her the whereabouts of the café know as ‘Der Vlinder’.
“Ja,” she said, “it is near here, by the harbour. But Madame, why do you wish to go there? It is a place for rowdy youngsters where the music is too loud.”
I left the hotel and walked to the café. There it was, where she said it would be, and in an old building too, easily eighteenth century. It was closed so I rapped on the door. After a moment or so, this opened and an elderly cleaning lady rapped out a torrent of Dutch to me.
“Excuse me Madame, sorry, but I am from Sweden. I don’t speak Dutch.”
“I’m sorry,” she replied, her face softening a little and switching into that fluent English which the Dutch, like us Scandinavians, are famous for. “I said, the café is closed. Please wait until tonight.”
“I don’t wish to drink, Madame. I am tracing my family history. Some ancestors of mine were Dutch and they held the lease at a café in Zierikzee called ‘Der Vlinder’ two hundred years ago. I want to see if this is the place.”
“Surely it is,” replied she, “for this building is over three hundred years in age and has always been known as ‘The Butterfly’.”
I thanked her and went on my way.
My next stop was the town’s small museum situated in the old jailhouse. I entered and wandered around gazing at the exhibits detailing past floods and fishing vessels. The curator, a friendly elderly lady, came up to me as I was admiring a scale model of the town in the nineteenth century.
“Excuse me for intruding, Madame,” she said, “but am I right in thinking that you are not Dutch?”
“You are Madame,” I replied. “I am coming from Sweden.”
“And how are you finding Zierikzee?”
“Very pleasant.” Here was my chance. “Actually, I am trying to trace some Dutch ancestors of mine, the van Hessels. They were prominent citizens in this town in the nineteenth century. One, a girl named Gabrielle, married a Wilhelm van Wettering in the Church of St. Liven. The van Wetterings were also prominent. I want to find out where the van Hessels lived.”
“Maybe I can help you?” she said, before disappearing into a back room. Approximately ten minutes later she returned, carrying an ancient, leather-bound book. “Here we are,” she said, “Wilhelm van Wettering of Batavia in the East Indies, married Gabrielle van Hessel, Ward of Jacob van Hessel, of 12 Wielingenstraat on May 29th, 1831 at Sintlivenskirk.”
“12 Wielingenstraat. Does that residence still stand?”
“Indeed it does Madame, it’s a fine old townhouse, well worth a visit.”
So visit it I did, ringing the bell of the handsome brick merchant’s house. A middle-aged lady answered. “Ja?” she asked.
“Hello. My name is Elvira Lundstrom, I’m from Sweden. I am here because I believe an ancestor of mine once lived in this house and if you don’t mind, I would like to look inside.”
“Really? What was his name?”
“Van Hessel,” said I.
“Oh yes, you’ve come to the right place. The van Hessels’ were one of the most prominent families in the town. I myself am descended from them. Perhaps we’re related? Please, come in!”
Louisa van der Laan, (for that was her name), proved to be an amiable and intelligent lady and I thoroughly enjoyed my tour through her beautiful home. Heading upstairs she showed me the room that I was interested in.
“This was van Hessel’s Study,” she said.
“Are those bookshelves original?” I asked.
“All the fittings in here are,” she replied. “Why?”
“Because I think that they might hold a secret.”
I poked around behind some books and lo and behold, I found the lever. I pulled it down and the shelves opened up to reveal a passageway.
“Well I never,” exclaimed Louisa, “in all my years of living here I never knew…”
“It leads to the harbour,” I said, “or at least it did once.”
We entered the passageway with a torch of Louisa’s. After several metres it widened and a chink of light could be seen in the wall. I put my eye to it. There was Louisa’s bedchamber. It was the peephole!
As I gazed through the hole, something hard touched my foot. I bent down and picked it up. It was a leather folder. “What’s that?” asked Louisa.
“I don’t know,” said I. “Let’s go back to the study to find out.”
IN the study we opened it up Inside were documents, handwritten documents, brown from age. I picked one out. They were in French, but I could make out the title as I had studied the Gallic tongue in my youth. It read: A Short Account…
“What does it say?” asked Louisa. “I can’t read French.”
“It’s some memoirs by an ancestor of ours,” I said. “Jacob van Hessel.”
“Oh! How fascinating! Can you translate it?”
”Given time, yes, but it’s very long. Can I keep it?”
“I’d like to say yes, but if it’s a heirloom…”
“Well then, may I photocopy it and send you my translation when it’s finished?”
And so that’s what I did. Went to the library and photocopied the entire contents of the folder, before getting back in the car and returning to my home where my French-Swedish Dictionary was, and where I could decipher this, which I guessed to be the clue that I was after.
And I guessed right.
Chapter 4 – van Hessel’s Memoirs
A Short Account of my latter in life wanderings and the Establishment of the Society for the Fulfillment of the Venus Ideal by Jacob van Hessel Written in the French Language so as to be Understandable to Men of all Nations and Incomprehensible to prying female eyes of my own.
And so it was that in The Year of Our Lord 1851, over a decade after young Wilhelm van Wettering departed from these shores, taking my niece with him as his bride, I at last, freed from my own marriage, the Lord choosing to take Mrs. Van Hessel the precceeding year, decided to embark upon a voyage to meet up with my much-beloved nephew through marriage and of course, his wife, once my Ward. And so it was that I boarded the good ship Eindhoven and journeyed from the Port of Middelburg, onto the Port of Batavia and from thence taking a smaller boat, chartered especially by van Wettering who I had prior informed of my intentions, to carry me onwards to his mansion set amidst the jungles and rubber plantations of the Island of Kalimantan, a part of His Royal Dutch Majesty’s Colony of the East Indies.
It was twilight as our schooner rounded the headland and drew towards the bay which van Wettering’s mansion overlooks. I scanned the scene with earnest enjoyment, marvelling at the sway of the lush green palms and being silently impressed with the very Dutch façade of the white villa on the hillside that was my niece’s home. On the jetty I saw some figures, obviously there to greet me, but as the craft drew nearer I cannot but admit to you that I became amazed. As I said before, this was the year 1851, yet any uninitiated arriver would be forgiven for being mistaken that we were but a century earlier. For those figures on the quay; my niece, nephew and several servants, I found to be all adorned in the costumes of the latter half of the Eighteenth Century!
And what costumes they were, particularly those of the ladies. My niece in particular looked spectacular, wearing a glorious satin creation supported by hoops that extended a metre or so either side of her person. Her waist was – thanks in part to the training that I myself initiated – as pleasantly miniscule as ever, and encased in a rigid, cone-shaped corset as was the fashion in those times. As I drew nearer I saw her breasts heaving up and down at an incredible rate, a sight which I must admit, brought back many happy reminiscences of the years that that delightful nymph spent within my walls, fighting for her very breath and pleasantly restricted beyond all measure. I could see, even from a distance, that the costume that she donned, must have been awfully difficult to wear, particularly in the tropical heat. It was an exquisite creation of blue satin, (I later learnt off van Wettering that it was an exact copy of a court costume of Marie Antoinette), and supported by hoops that extended out almost a metre on either side of the wearer. My niece held her posture erect, her face, heavily made-up and expressionless, and her arms outstretched, holding the ends of her voluminous hoops. What struck me most of all however, was her hairstyle, powdered and ornate, and absolutely huge, no doubt supported by some sort of padding or framework underneath. It truly was a work of art, though conversely, it must also have been incredibly heavy on the cranium.
Flanking my relative were two other ladies, maids I presumed, in equally sumptuous costume, and two gentlemen, one of whom was of course van Wettering. They too donned eighteenth century dress, and ornate though it was, it looked far less cumbersome and considerably cooler. As I alighted from the craft, my nephew-in-law bounded forward to meet me and shook my hand firmly.
“This is quite the finest and most unexpected reception that I have ever been treated to in my life,” exclaimed I in all honesty.
“I thought that you’d like it. We are playing at being in the eighteenth century this month,” van Wettering explained, “and I must admit, it’s rather fun!”
“I can see,” said I, and turning to my niece, “and you my dear look exquisite. The tropical air seems to suit you.”
Gabrielle said nothing and remained expressionless. The only indication I got from her was a slight curtsey. I gazed at her face, heavily made up as was the fashion in those times. ‘How come she isn’t sweating in this intense heat,’ thought I, gazing at her ivory skin, as the salty droplets rolled down my brow.’
“Come! To the house!” exclaimed my nephew, and he, I and the other man, climbed into one of the two waiting coaches. The ladies moved, pleasingly slowly, towards the second.
“Jacob, meet Dimitur Gruncharov, my best man and friend, and co-plotter in all my evil endeavours. A native of Rumelia in Turkey, I employed him the first week that I came here and it was the best move that I ever made.”
I turned to the other man, a dark South Slav who bowed and spoke, in admiral Dutch, “Pleased to make your acquaintance. Mr. Van Wettering speaks very often and very highly of you.”
“So, what do you think of your niece these days then?” asked van Wettering. “Am I keeping her right as you asked me to?”
“Well Wilhelm, judging by that remarkable display, I should imagine so. Her waist was pleasingly minute as ever, and that dress… well… it looked most unwieldy. How could one wear it I know not. And yet her face, why, she seems not to have aged a jot since I put her into your care, and what’s more, she was not sweating under all that material.”
At this Gruncharov and van Wettering burst into laughter.
“What’s the jest my good men?” asked I.
“Her face? Her face! Jacob, you never saw her face! Ok, I will admit that she is wearing the years well you shall see that soon enough for yourself, but you haven’t done so yet. That ‘face’ of Gabrielle’s that you saw today was a mask. When she arrived here a decade ago I had, inspired by you my dear fellow, an expert Javan mask maker sculpt a series of masks, complete with exact replicas of my erect manhood to silence her mouth, of her but in a variety of different styles. That one was the one done in eighteenth century style, with the heavy make-up, patches, that sort of thing. I also have ones representing this century and the sixteenth century. That way, no matter if she ages or not, she may always appear to me the vision of loveliness that she was when I first met her.”
“And she may trouble you no more with her complaints,” added Gruncharov.
“Well!” exclaimed I, “Van Wettering, you are a genius. Pray tell me, what other hidden extras did you hide in that costume then?”
“Oh not many Jacob, after all, it was overpowering enough, particularly the hairstyle and fifteen centimetre high heels, but yes, there is a little. Her arms, held ramrod straight out, holding those enormous hoops. The hands are secretly tied to the hoops and there are steel bars in the sleeves. They are thus immobile. And her fine breasts, heaving up and down in that low cut dress. Why they are visible are they not?”
“Indeed, and pleasingly so.”
“But what is not visible are the rings through her nipples that prevent them from popping out!”
“A masterpiece!” I cried.
That evening we dined in the magnificent dining room of van Wettering’s new home, whilst he fed his wife sat majestically and uncomfortably between us. Afterwards we retired, ostensibly for port and cigars though really for another purpose entirely, a pastime that I had introduced Wilhelm to years ago at my house, namely a little session of ‘Peeping Tom’.
“Of course, when I was designing this mansion, I had some secret passages added,” he commented with a wry smile, as he opened up a hidden door in his study that revealed a tunnel leading to the ladies’ chambers. “However, and I hope that this doesn’t offend you at all sir, whilst I have copied your most excellent idea, I have also taken the liberty of adding some minor improvements.”
I was intrigued to see what they might be.
The passage terminated in a small and pleasant anteroom that was certainly an improvement on the dark cramped space from where I had watched my niece be ‘prepared’ in the past. In the room were two comfortable chairs, (“Gruncharov usually joins me,” van Wettering remarked, and inbetween them a fine polished table stocked with port wine and glasses. In front of the chairs was a large glass window showing a fine uninterrupted view of a lady’s dressing chamber.
“That,” explained my nephew-in-law, “is a one-way window. To my niece and all other occupants of that room, it appears merely as a large, ornate mirror.”
More confusing than the window however, were two round holes lower down in front of each chair.
“What purpose do those serve?” asked I.
“If you’ll excuse me, please do not be prudish, but if you would release your manhood from your trousers and place it in the hole in front of your chair then you will find out.”
A little shocked, I nonetheless did as instructed, and to my surprise, as soon as it was through, something enclosed my erect member. Or to be more exact, a warm human mouth! I looked at Wilhelm for an explanation.
“Two beautiful Batavian virgins that I bought for this purpose. I’ve been saving them for your visit. You may ravish the one you choose later on this evening in your bedchamber.”
Oh! The joys of colonial life! And the generosity of my nephew-in-law. I thanked him warmly and settled down to watch the entertaining spectacle of my niece being stripped of her restrictive clothing, laced into an excruciatingly tight night Venus corset so that she appeared entirely armless, and them bundled into a tight and extremely hot cocoon that rendered all her senses unusable, and the only part of her visible the huge and unwieldy hairstyle which could not be taken down as it would taken around five hours to remake the following day should it be done so. And thus it was that my beleaguered niece was forced to sleep hot, sticky and immobile with her head bent at a strange and uncomfortable angle whilst my manhood was being quenched by one of Batavia’s comeliest. Indeed, it was a superb start to my vacation.
The following morning, quite late on, as I demanded young Nurmusari pleasure me several times before going down to breakfast, I joined van Wettering for what he assured me would be the highlight of my trip: a ride out into the country.
“I never knew that you were much of a horse rider,” I stated.
“I’m not,” replied he with a sly wink.
All was soon revealed when I entered the first of his ‘stables’. In it, instead of the manger and straw that I expected, I found a simple bed, and lain on that bed, a girl. A beautiful girl, a native girl with large dark eyes and luscious black hair. And a restrained girl, oh, how restrained! She wore around her torso a wonderfully tight corset, and one her feet long black leather boots that ended in horses hooves, (“her feet are on tiptoe inside,” Wilhelm commented). Her arms were bound in a tight and most becoming mono-glove that seemed to be causing her some discomfort, whilst in her mouth of placed a large gag. She looked pleadingly at me and I smiled.
“Your pony for the day!” announced my host, picking the wench up and ordering Gruncharov to prepare her. “Her name is ‘Christina’.”
He led her out by a leash attached to her collar. A moment later she was attached to a small trap in which I was to ride, blinkers preventing her from looking where she shouldn’t and a bit in her mouth instead of the gag.
“Is she ready?” asked I.
“Nay,” said Gruncharov, “I left the last – and most pleasing – preparation, for you to carry out.” The Rumelian handed me a horses tail that ended in a plug.
“You don’t need to tell me where this goes I said, and bending the girl over, I inserted it into her anus causing the wench to grunt and groan. Meanwhile, two other ‘ponies’ and traps had been brought out and Gruncharov and van Wettering had jumped in them.
“Off we go!” said the plantation owner, and so off we went. I won’t say that it was the fastest journey I have ever been on, but it certainly was the most fun, and exploring van Wettering’s extensive grounds behind a sweating, comely pony-wench was indeed a fine way to spend the day, giving those rounded brown buttocks a little spank with my whip ever now and again.
That afternoon after our riding session, van Wettering took me with him to some cottages set deep within the depths of his rubber tree forest.
“Why do you take me here?” I asked.
“You shall see,” replied he.
We opened the door of one, a humble dwelling, and found inside two seamstresses sewing a fine silken dress together. They were pretty things, European not native, and one sported signs of having been rodgered in the past, a rounded stomach indicating a bun in the oven as it were.
“Here is where Gabrielle’s remarkable gowns and other clothing are created. This cottage contains the seamstresses, the adjacent one the corsetiere. We have also a cobbler, hoisiere and sewer of more basic items such as petticoats. The outfits are designed however, by Gruncharov and myself. This one I – though perhaps not my niece – am particularly looking forward to. It is an exact replica of a gown of the Spanish Enfanta, similar to those worn in those fantastic paintings by Velasquez.
“I had seen the paintings he talked of during my travels in the Iberian peninsular and had admired the costumes depicted. “My those gowns were fantastic,” I declared. “Graceful and elegant yet easily over two metres in width. Were they not the widest dresses in history?”
“They are and will continue to be so until this one is completed. We have widened this accordingly in line with Gabrielle’s slightly larger frame.”
“Where do the girls come from?” I asked, nodding towards the comely seamstresses.
“Gruncharov provided them. They are expert Balkan dressmakers from a village near to his own. And aren’t they something to look at as well?”
“Indeed,” agreed I.
“I know, and deliberately so,” said Gruncharov, “for what we aim for here is to create a legacy.”
“Indeed,” explained my nephew-in-law, “a legacy. We intend to breed these fantastic artists and so the skills they possess, as well as their good looks, may be passed down to us over the coming generations.”
“But why?” asked I in puzzlement.
“Oh, my dear Jacob, I shall explain it all in due course. But all I need tell you now is that I have a big idea. That one there, with the babyfull belly, why Gruncharov here is responsible for it. I have the other one for my recreation. There is however, a spare one in the other cottage.”
“Well, if she is as comely as these two, may I not have the pleasure?”
Van Wettering looked at me in mock disgust. “Is not the nubile Nurmusari enough for you, you old leech?” he asked with a laugh. “Oh course Jacob, I was only joking. I shall have them both, Nurmusari and Ralitsa, brought to your room tonight and you may make your choice.”
We went on to view the other cottages before returning to the house for a magnificent diner in which I was allowed to feed my niece who was clad in a stunning yellow satin gown. Afterwards, over coffee in the drawing room I sat down next to my one-time Ward and asked her how she found life in the Tropics?
“And how do you think, Uncle? I never thought that their could be a man more perverse and chauvinistic that you, but my luck seems to have been to marry him.”
“Do you not like your nice clothes and life of ease?” I asked.
“Would you like to be bound immobile and dressed up like a child’s plaything everyday, and then be ravished by a man you hate at night, with no hope of ever escaping?” asked that pretty girl.
“Oh no, but thankfully that is not my lot, my dear Gabrielle,” I replied with a laugh. “I suppose it is yours though, and alas my sweet niece, you’ll have to get used to it.”
She said nothing but put a sulky glare on her face instead. In no mood to tolerate such behaviour, I grabbed her gag from the table and pushed it in her mouth.
“Much better!” declared the amiable Gruncharov with a chuckle.
We retired soon afterwards and I was most shocked when I walked into my bedroom to find hanging from large ceiling hooks on either side of my bed, two black leather cocoons, which judging from their shape, both contained comely wenches squeezed into immobility. I removed the face panel from the one to the left and discovered by beautiful brown-skinned Nurmusari inside. On the right I unearthed a handsome Balkan maiden, presumably the seamstress that van Wettering had mentioned. After twirling them both round for a moment or two trying to decide who to grace with my manhood that evening, I eventually settled on the European, whom I let down and unwrapped, before ravishing in my own unique way whilst her partner was left dangling from the ceiling all evening, grunting and groaning occasionally to remind us of her prescence.
I could go on forever really about that trip to van Wettering’s mansion, a trip that lasted two months and contained all manners of perversion, some that not even I could have imagined. I always knew that I had chosen well with Wilhelm as my heir as it were, but never had I realised just how well. Towards the end of it all though, one evening, sat smoking and sipping wine in the Peeping Chamber whilst two lovelies brought in from Batavia that week gave us pleasure, van Wettering brought up the idea that would change both of our lives and hopefully those of many more men for decades to come.
“Jacob,” said he, “you have tried many a form of perversion, restricted women in countless ways and what not. Pray tell me, which particular method is your favourite?”
I sat and thought awhile whilst Nurmusari sucked tenderly on my tool. “Why Wilhelm,” I said at last, “I think that it must still be the restriction, the rendering useless as it were, of the arms.”
My nephew-in-law clapped his hands. “Jacob,” he declared, “I am of the same thought. Can their be anything finer than it? The Venus corset, mono-glove, even that ingenious balloon-sleeve device that you cooked up. They all excite me like naught else. Look at our Gabrielle now, does she not look as pretty as any picture?” My niece was by now laced tightly into a Venus corset. She looked, as her husband had said, exquisite.
“I agree entirely,” I said, coming into the Batavian’s mouth. “But what of it?”
“Jacob, I have a proposal to make. You like the armless female. I like the armless female. So does Gruncharov. So do several other gents that I know. In my reckoning, there’s a great number, if not a majority of the world’s males who are excited by it as an ideal. However, my friend, how many of these delightful creatures does one come across?”
“Far too few Wilhelm, far too few.”
“Indeed sir, far, far, far too few. Ok, here, in the colonies one can proquire girls, beautiful girls indeed, for our activities, but elsewhere? As you well know, in Europe it is a far harder task, and indeed, though you managed it yourself, bringing up women as you brought up my wife, in a civilised country is becoming alas, incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Am I correct, sir?”
“Alas, Wilhelm, you are all too correct. This repulsive rising tide of women’s rights…”
“Indeed uncle, it disgusts me. At this rate our mode of existence will be totally obliterated within a decade.”
“Unless we do something about it?”
“Something about it? Whatever do you mean, sir?”
“I mean Jacob, unless we take measures to preserve our noble way of keeping women.”
“What sort of measures?”
“Uncle!” There was a light in his eyes and a zest in his voice. “I propose a society, a society that we shall form. A society that ensures that the armless female is not lost to the world forever. I propose the Society for the Fulfillment of the Venus Ideal!”
And so it was born.
We spent the rest of that trip laying the foundations. It was a society, a secret one. By its very nature and with the enemy of Womens’ Liberation to combat, it had to be. We were to pick, to invite members in. And they had to be rich. To keep women in the straits that we demanded required a lot of capital. And besides, the rich are also influential. If you’ve those at the top in with you, then governments are not a problem. The rules were simple:
- All wives of Society members shall be kept in a state whereby their arms are rendered useless at all times.
- All members must forbear to talk about the Society to all non-members at all times.
- All members must pay a one-off fee of a million Dutch guilders to the Society for the purpose of maintaining the Society Headquarters and Training Centre.
- Society wives who escape from our clutches must be either recaptured or terminated before they can tell of our secrets. Their husbands will be held entirely responsible for this.
- Any manner of arm restriction is permissible, so long as it is total, (i.e. handcuffs not permissible).
The Society Headquarters and Training Centre that I mentioned were to be based, of course, at van Wettering’s Kalimantan Estate. From the very outset, he and I had realised that the proquirement of willing females for our noble endeavour was always going to be a problem. He had been lucky with Gabrielle, others could not hope to be so fortunate, for not only did we demand women, but we also demanded pretty ones. And pretty girls have to be handpicked and then, ideally, trained. In the acquisition of our females we would allow all methods, so long as they could never be traced back to our organisation. Therefore, kidnapping immediately became a popular one, and the lucky ladies would be taken from their place of capture to van Wettering’s home where they would be inducted into their new life under the auspices of Gruncharov who became the Centre’s Controller, before being found a suitable spouse from amidst our ranks. There also would be based our own dress and bondage-gear making amenities, the germs of which had been founded with the seamstresses and corsetiere of van Wettering’s mansion. Indentured to us, those girls and their offspring would prove to be loyal servants to our organisation over the years.
I write these words almost fifteen years after the day that I had that fateful meeting with van Wettering in the Peeping Chamber of his mansion. During those happy years the Society for the Fulfillment of the Venus Ideal has grown in size and stature, until at the present day the number of our members totals around three hundred, coming from no less than twenty nationalities across the globe. Our Training Centre on Kalimantan is now full and Gruncharov loyally still fulfills his role as Controller with gusto and skill.
And I? I am now remarried, to a lovely young maiden named Tsvetilina whom we captured in the Russian Empire and whom has been without the use of her arms since the day that she wed me and left the Centre. I am happy in my marriage and my life, but alas not in my health. The doctor has informed me that my time on this Earth now numbers but months, and as, due to my sins, I foresee little home on the next, I am committing to paper now the words and deeds of my life so that it all may be preserved for prosperity. The Society I leave in van Wettering and Gruncharov’s safe hands. For the rest, I trust in God.
Jacob van Hessel, Zierikzee, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1875 AD
Chapter 5 – Kalimantan
Van Hessel’s words disgusted me. He, like van Wettering, was a disgusting, sick, perverted old man. If he were still alive I’d… To only think of women as objects, treat them like animals! He was an anathema to the human race, extinct, a dinosaur…? Or perhaps not. His Society for the Fulfillment of the Venus Ideal, that sick, sick secret organisation that he and his equally sick friend had set up, was it not still in existence? Sadly, it seemed that it was. Now at last I had some concrete evidence. Yes, in a way I was happy. I did have something concrete now in amidst that morass of perverted, sadistic filth. Filth, yes, that’s all that it was. Pure, unadulterated filth. And yet… and yet I had found myself becoming aroused. The idea of Gabrielle trussed up, helpless, dominated like that. The pony girls, the overpowering eighteenth century costume, the mask. I shook my head to dispel those disturbing, confusing thoughts from my mind. What was wrong with me? Still the constriction…
I turned to more positive things. Now I had some concrete evidence. And what’s more, some leads. The main one of course was van Wettering’s Mansion. So that was the headquarters, and it had a location: Kalimantan. I took out a map of the world and had a look. Kalimantan was the Indonesian name for Borneo, and it is a big island. Still, the mansion was by the coast and it shouldn’t be too hard to trace. After all, van Wettering had been a famous figure in his day. I called up SAS straight away and booked myself on the next flight leaving Copenhagen for Jakarta.
The heat was sweltering as I stepped out of the airport, but my mind was on other matters. I hailed a taxi and asked to be taken to the port. Despite being tired, this was no time for sleeping. Unlikely as it was that the headquarters and training centre of this Venus society was still in van Wettering’s mansion, it was nonetheless a chance that I had to take. After all, if I hurried up, I might still find my darling Maria there.
I entered the Pelni Office, (Indonesia’s state-run ferry company), and asked to be booked onto the next ship for Kalimantan. “Where exactly in Kalimantan, Madame?” asked the friendly booking clerk.
This stumped me. Where exactly? It was a big place. I looked at the map behind him and opted for the most centrally located port town. “Pagatan,” I said.
“Tomorrow at eight-thirty in the morning, Madame.”
Normally I would have revelled in that fine voyage through the tropics, I being a seasoned traveller, never happier than when in strange climes. However, disturbing thoughts of my darling daughter being in the clutches of those sick men prevented any happiness, and it was with relief when we finally docked at the sleepy, palm fringed quay. Immediately I went to the town’s museum and asked some questions about van Wettering.
“Wilhelm van Wettering? Oh yes, we know of him. He was a great figure in the days of the Dutch Occupation. He was a very rich man, owning many plantations of the rubber, and carrying much power with the Dutch government.”
“Where did he live? I heard that it was on Kalimantan somewhere?”
“You heard correctly Madame, his house was not so far from here, only a hundred kilometres down the coastline. It was a large white villa.”
“Does it still stand?”
“Oh yes Madame, that it does. But unfortunately Madame, you cannot visiting this place.”
“Oh. Why not?”
“It is not allowed. It is owned by the government, well, one of the ministers anyhow. It is forbidden for all to go there.”
It seems like I had struck gold. ‘Forbidden.’ Why? Because of the sick goings-on there no doubt. I sauntered down to the quay with an air of achievement and went up to the boat owners. I wanted to hire a craft that would take me to that villa that very night. At first the prices they demanded were ridiculous, reaching into the thousands of euros, but eventually they started coming down. An hour later I was on a small fishing boat that I’d hired for two days for the princely sum of one hundred euros.
It was dark as we neared the mansion. The building could be seen perched on the hillside but I ordered the man past it and instead we weighed anchor around a kilometre or so further on and dressed in a black wetsuit I swam to the shore. Then, donning a balaclava, I slowly made my way towards the villa of van Wettering. I soon came across an obstacle though, a ten metre high wire fence. Luckily I was prepared. I cut a hole with my clippers and wriggled through, disguising the hole with foliage as I am sure that the place would be guarded.
Near the villa I saw lights. Cautiously popping my head over a low stone wall I was confronted by a garden, a vast beautiful garden, a veritable Eden, and a garden filled with people. It looked like some sort of high-class cocktail party. There were men and women of all races and nationalities, expensively and sexily dressed chatting and sipping champagne. What was going on? Was this a Venus Society Gathering or not? It certainly didn’t look like it as everyone had full use of their arms, and yet… And yet on closer inspection, whilst all the men were old, balding and unattractive, the women, each and every one of them was young and stunningly beautiful. Just the sort of women that the Society would desire. Most were talking to the men and laughing, though a few were standing alone or with friends. Then a stroke of luck occurred. One of those beautiful women, a Latina stunning enough to grace any magazine cover, though with a glum look on her face, walked over and leant on the wall directly above me. I took a risk.
“Mmmph, mm, mmmph!”
“Shhh! Shhh!” I said. “I won’t hurt you, I just want to ask you some questions.”
The woman that I’d grabbed and pulled over the wall and into the undergrowth ceased wriggling and stared at me. I took my hand off her mouth and whispered, “See, you can trust me. Please trust me.”
“What do you want?”
“I want to know, this place, these people, what’s going on here?”
“Don’t you know?”
“Is it an Indonesian government party?”
“Indonesian government. We are in Indonesia?”
“Yes. On Kalimantan, Borneo. Didn’t you know?”
“No, no. They told us nothing.”
“Who are they?”
“I don’t know, honestly.”
“So why are you here?”
“We were kidnapped. All of us. Well, all us girls.”
“I don’t know. I can’t tell you. All I know is that I’m here. But I don’t want to be. Can you get me away?”
“Sure. I can but I will only do so on one condition.”
“That once away you’ll tell me all that you know.”
“Fine! Let’s go!”
Within ten minutes we were back on the boat. Then Ana Rosa told me her story.
Chapter 6 – Ana Rosa de la Torre
“So, my name is Ana Rosa; Ana Rosa de la Torre. I am from Mexico. Anyway, I had a normal life, we lived in Mexico City. I was a middle class kid, lived with my parents and sisters and brother. I am sixteen. I was at school. Anyway, one Sunday I was at Mass, we go every Sunday. But afterwards I was walking home. My family were not with me. They’d gone to visit my grandmother on the other side of the city and had attended the six a.m. Mass instead but I had been lazy, and besides… I had homework to finish. So, I was walking back from Mass and then I felt this prick in my back. Like an insect bite or something. Well, then my world went dizzy and I fell. The next thing that I knew, I was there.”
“That place that you just rescued me from.”
“Right. Continue please.”
“Anyway, so I was there. I woke up in a room. A nice room with sunshine streaming in. I was lying on a double bed. I was wearing only my underwear. I sat up wondering where I was. Beside the bed was a little table. On the table was a note. I read it. It was in Spanish. It said, ‘Take a shower, put on the bikini and come to Room 208.’ Well, what was I to do but follow? So, I went to the shower, washed myself and then put on the bikini that was lying on my bed. It was a tiny one in black. Some girls like that, showing their bodies off to everyone and that, but I am shy and respectable. I felt naked with it on but what was I to do? Anyway, I put it on and went to Room 208 like they said?”
“And what was there, in that room?”
“A woman. A little older than me, dressed in a dark blue bikini, also very skimpy. She introduced herself as Tsvetelina and then asked me if I spoke English. I do, so then she started talking in that language. She gave me a drink of fruit juice. She explained everything.”
“What did she say?”
“That I was in this place, Eden she called it, and that it was my home now. I was never going to go back to Brazil she said. I cried and she comforted me. She was a nice girl. She explained that she’d been through it all herself and she was here to help me cope. She didn’t want to be there either, but she, like me, had no choice. When I’d calmed down I asked her more about Eden. She said that it was just like the name suggested, a garden. It was a beautiful place and that we could stay there as long as we liked. We didn’t have to work or do anything and there were only a few rules. I asked her what these rules were. The first she said was that we always had to wear what they stipulated. I asked who ‘they’ were but she said that she didn’t know. Anyway, that rule was easy to follow as there were no other clothes on offer anyway, so I had to wear the ones they stipulated.”
“What sort of clothes were these?”
“Well, in the daytime bikinis, or on occasions skimpy one-piece swimsuits. And at night, cocktail dresses, sexy ones like this that I’m wearing now. That was all. Anyway that was the first rule. The second was no sex. Any of the men that came to us, we could be friendly with them, flirt with them, kiss them even, but no sex. If we had sex with a man, we had to marry him, that was that.”
“Why was that?”
”I don’t know, but that was what they said.”
“Did you marry?”
“No. Once you married you had to leave Eden. Only single virgins were allowed. Anyway I thought, well this will be easy, and it was. Everyday I woke up late, had everything prepared for me by my maid. I lounged by the pool, talked to the other girls and the men…”
“Yes, they were guests. They were always changing. Most stayed for a fortnight or so. They were usually old and ugly, but some were nice. We chatted with them, sometimes flirted, but that was all. Until…”
“I met one. David he said his name was, though that could have been an alias. Anyway, when I first met him I wasn’t impressed. He was about fifty and balding, had a beer belly too. However, after a day or so, I don’t know why, but I started to like him. I fell madly in love. We kissed and carressed, but no sex of course. But oh, how I wanted him inside me, I was mad for him. I have fallen for men before, but never like this. He obsessed my nights and days. I was wet from thinking about him, but of course I couldn’t even pleasure myself to relieve the tension…”
“This collar that I wear. It was on me when I woke up. Tsvetelina explained that it has a chip in it. If my hands move too near my privates I get an electric shock from the collar. So, no fingering. But oh, I was so mad, desperate for me. Then he asked me, would I marry him? At first I said no, after all, all of us girls know what happens. If you marry one of the men that visits then you are taken away from Eden and have to surrender to them completely. There are tales of them tying girls up and such. So, I said no, but day after day my desire for him grew stronger. Then, two days afterwards, I said yes, but then he replied that the offer no longer stood. A new girl had arrived and David was after her now. Then, I don’t know why or how, but my longing for him left. I fell out of love as quickly as I’d fallen into it. When he married the other girl I felt no jealousy towards her though at first I’d been ready to kill her. It was all so strange…”
“Yes, and a great affair it was. She wore an absolutely divine dress, like a fairytale princess. We all attended.”
“Where is he – they now?”
”I don’t know. After you marry, you leave Eden for good, and no contact is allowed with us.”
“Ok, so can you tell me, what did you do all day in Eden? Study? Work?”
“No, nothing. Absolutely nothing. We weren’t allowed to do any sort of activity except our daily exersize session to keep us fit. Maids did everything for us. All we were allowed to do was lie by the pool, drink fruit juice and look pretty.”
Her words reminded me strongly of how Araksia had been kept by Kevork.
“Ana Rosa, I want to ask you a question.” I took out Maria’s photograph from my wallet. “Have you ever seen this girl at all in Eden?”
“Oh my God, that’s her!”
“The girl who married David.”
“Was her name Maria?”
“Yes, yes. She was some sort of European. I only spoke to her on occasions. She seemed nice enough.”
“Ana Rosa, I am that girl’s mother. She was kidnapped. I am trying to find her. Can you tell me anything at all about this ‘David’?”
“Nothing really, he said nothing about himself. Only one thing…”
“That he was some sort of East European.”
“Thank you Ana Rosa, thank you very, very much.”
Chapter 7 – Into Rumelia
I returned from Kalimantan to Jakarta without incident and after kitting Ana Rosa out with some clothes at my own expense I placed her on the next available Garuda flight to Mexico City, (also at my own expense), before getting on the plane myself and making my way back to Europe. Whilst sat on that jet liner, I mulled over what I had learnt and thought where to go next. My investigations up to that point had been of course, successful beyond my wildest imaginings. My hunch that the Society for the Fulfillment of the Venus Ideal was a real organisation and not a mere work of fiction had proved to be correct, as also had my hunch that my own darling daughter was their latest victim. What’s more, I also knew in whose hands she now lay, an East European man named David. Was this David the same as Dave Potter? It certainly could be. I reread his stories and also van Hessel’s account. What struck me upon this reading was that Eastern Europe figured heavily in all accounts. Araksia was an Armenian, and she also met up with one Tatyana who was a Bulgarian. What’s more, the castle of the Victorian Ball was on the Danube in Hungary. Ihbat had originally been a Greek, i.e. a native of a country that borders what we know as Eastern Europe. What’s more one of Dave Potter’s other stories was set in Russia and he, like I, seemed to have an elementary understanding at least of that tongue. And finally van Hessel’s account. He repeatedly mention’s a Gruncharov, a native of Rumelia, who was van Wettering’s right-hand man and later on, the Controller of the Society’s Training Centre. Rumelia, where was Rumelia? I wasn’t sure. The name Gruncharov however, rung some bells. As I mentioned before, in my youth I studied Russian, going on an exchange to Leningrad when I was eighteen. And the surname ‘Gruncharov’ sounded to me very much like the Russian word for… for… Potter! So, that was it, this Dave Potter was perhaps a descendant of the original Dimitur Gruncharov. Find him and I’d find our Maria. But Dimitur is not a Russian name, and Rumelia is, well, as I said, I know not. Things would have to wait until I returned home.
Whilst they did I turned my mind to the Training Centre that I’d found in Kalimantan. This was most unlike what I’d expected. What had I expected? Perhaps some sort of sadistic girl’s school where the pupils are trussed up and restricted and taught how to give oral sex and such. Yet there one found nothing of the sort. Instead the women had absolute freedom, well, except for the sex, and indeed seemed warned about the men that they were about to marry. Why would anyone marry a man whom they knew would oppress and dominate them? Yet my Maria seemed to have done. It was so out of her character. Ok, so you fall in love, I’ve done that myself, but to marry someone whom you know will give you no freedom? My mind was confused and matters weren’t helped by the fact that the image of being rendered armless and helpless continued to excite me. In the end I decided to watch the in-flight film if only to take my mind off things.
Back at home in Malmo, I took out my atlas of the world and looked up Rumelia. It did not appear anywhere, obviously a defunct country. Luckily, I also had a historical atlas on my bookshelves, so I took that down and opened it up. Van Hessel was of course, writing in the mid-nineteenth century so I turned to Europe during that period and scanned for Rumelia. Around five minutes later I found it; a province of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, situated somewhere in the modern-day country of… Bulgaria! The Bulgaria which Tatyana came from and which speaks a Slavic tongue somewhat akin to Russian! And shares the same Cyrillic alphabet as the Russians too. Earlier on in my investigations, I had been puzzled by Potter’s spelling of the Armenian name ‘Araksia’, more normally rendered, ‘Araxie’. However, for Cyrillic users, an alphabet with no ‘x’, that is the natural way to spell the word. He had given himself away, I knew that I’d hit the jackpot once more. Eight hours later I was again checking-in my luggage at Copenhagen Airport, this time bound for Sofia on a Balkan Airlines flight.
As soon as I’d put my luggage in my room at the Sofia Hilton, I was down at the reception desk again with a very strange enquiry. “Miss, could you find me a Private Detective in the city who can converse in English?” I asked. She looked a little surprised but nonetheless scanned the phone book for a number and promptly handed it to me. An hour an a half later I was waiting for Mr. Petkov in a smart café on Boulevard Maria Luisa.
“I am looking for a man,” I said.
“Fine,” replied the detective. “What’s his name?”
“Gruncharov,” said I.
“Madame, that is a very common name here in Bulgaria.”
“I know. It means ‘Potter’ does it not.”
“Indeed it does. Your knowledge of my tongue is admirable. But it does not help matters. Does he have a first name.”
“I am pretty sure that it is ‘David’.”
“David is not a common name here in Bulgaria,” he said, pronouncing the ‘ga’ in his country’s name with much emphasis.
“But it is not unknown?” I asked.
“Madame, we are a Christian country. David is not an unknown name. Can you tell me anymore?”
“He had an ancestor, around the year 1850, named Dimitur Gruncharov. This man was an important man I think, and a traveller. He lived for many years in the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia. It is conceivable that the present-day Mr. Gruncharov also has resided there, or in other places overseas.”
“Right,” said Petkov, jotting it all down. “Anything else?”
“He is rich,” said I, “very rich.”
“Then my job is an easy one,” replied the Bulgarian. “Rich people are few and far between in my country. Madame, I will research straight away and report back to you at the same time tomorrow.”
Chapter 8 – Vila Venus
‘David Dimitrov Gruncharov. Age 46. Address: Vila Venus, ul. Rakovskii, Kurdzhali district. The villa is a large one, secluded, near to the town of Kurdzhali in the south-east of the country. Estimated worth: 32 million euros. Money comes from shares in several major concerns, inc. Lukoil, Bulgartabak. Father a major figure in the former regime. Marital status: Single. Children: 3, from an affair with an unknown Portuguese lady, now deceased. Lives a hermit-like existence. Travels widely for business purposes.’
That was the file that Petkov had given me. I read it over and over again as the train rumbled leisurely through the Balkan countryside towards my eventual destination, and the opportunity to free my beloved daughter. I was worried, yes, and a little scared. Had not van Hessel written in his manuscript that escaped wives and all who know the secrets of the Society must be terminated by their husbands? Still, if needs must, I would finish Gruncharov off. I had a gun, supplied illegally by Petkov. A mother, when her back is up against the wall, will do anything to protect her children.
The train deposited me in the small city of Dimitrovgrad where I went to hire a car. Vehicle rental agencies were, like most other things I must say, a little thin on the ground in that forgotten little corner of the continent, but nonetheless, I eventually managed to locate a local plumber who agreed to let me use his rusty Lada for two days at an exorbitant price. The deal concluded I set off in the Russian automobile for the hills and the villa of my foe.
The day was drawing to a close as I finally reached the bottom of ul. Rakovskii, a tiny lane that led up into a wooded slope. I left the car hidden in some trees and made my way up the slope, clad all in black, including my trusty balaclava that had served me so well in Indonesia. The lane twisted and turned for a kilometre or so and I kept in the shadows until eventually, the property came into sight. It was a magnificent house, a huge collonaded stately home built in the Georgian style so popular in England. I crept up towards it and went around the back. There were lights on in some of the rooms, but most of the place was in darkness. Eventually I found a small backdoor. I tried it, but it was locked. Never one to be beaten, I got out a skeleton key that Petkov had also supplied me with and after several attempts, opened up the door.
I found myself in a kitchen. A large, huge, vast kitchen. One straight out of what the English call the ‘Victorian Era’. I crept through it and into a corridor, making my way to the heart of the house, my gun cocked and ready. Finally I came to a pair of huge double doors. There was a crack in the middle, and light shined through it. The room was occupied! Slowly but surely I inched the doors opened and crawled through them, shutting them noiselessly behind me. The room was quiet, no talking, no music, nothing. However, I was sure that it was occupied. I crept forward on all fours towards the ornate French three piece suite situated in the centre of the chamber besides the fireplace. Then I heard a rustle. I stopped. Someone was definitely there. A figure got up out of the armchair facing away from me. It was a female! She wore a huge crinoline dress in dark purple silk and her hair was done in ringlets. Her waist, I noted, was tightly corsetted, but her arms appeared to be normal, although they were gloved. The girl turned slowly and spotted me. We both gasped in surprise.
I had been expecting my Maria, and indeed the blonde ringlets that I had viewed from behind could easily have been Maria’s. However, the face that I saw was not that of any daughter of mine. It was a flawless, expressionless face of a young girl of twenty, with round blue eyes and ruby red lips. It was the face of a Victorian china doll!
“It’s alright,” I whispered in English, “I won’t harm you.”
The creature gave no indication of having understood me.”
“Do you understand English?” I asked.
The girl nodded.
“Who are you?”
No answer, nothing. Then I realised, this Victorian princess was not only not moving her lips, but since I had started talking to her, had not blinked her eyes also. I moved towards her and touched her face. It was false, plastic, a mask!
“You can’t speak can you?” I asked.
The girl nodded.
“Did he do this to you, David Gruncharov?”
She nodded once more.
“Are you Maria Lundstrom?”
She nodded and I gasped. Should I tell her who I was, that her mother was here to rescue her? I almost did but then decided against it. The shock might cause her to faint or something. “Follow me,” I whispered, this time in Swedish. “I’m going to get you out of here.”
I moved towards the door and my daughter followed, excruciatingly slowly. He had probably forced her into high heels as he did the characters in his stories, the sick individual that he was. I took her arms and assisted my child, her breast heaving all the time. We got to the door and I opened it.
Then the world fell away from me.
Chapter 9 – The Final Chapter
“Good evening Mrs. Lundstrom.”
He sat in front of me. I tried to move but could not. I was paralysed.
“I need hardly tell you why you are unable to move,” he continued, a perverted smile upon his face. “After all, you have read enough of my stories on the internet to understand completely about our immobilising drug. I will explain how you got down here though. In my youth I saw a very good film about a British spy named James Bond. In it a crime chief got rid of his victims by installing a collapsing floor under which lay a pool full of piranhas. I liked the idea and so installed my own, albeit minus the piranhas. It was that floor which you just stepped on and here is where the nasty man-eating fish should perhaps be. So, now you fully understand you predicament Mrs. Lundstrom.”
I did. I was terrified.
“Mrs. Lundstrom, I must say that I am impressed. You have proved yourself to be an admirable detective. You followed the clues and solved the case. I was chastened you know, by the Society Board, for writing those stories and posting them on the internet so that people could learn all about us. But, I never expected anyone to actually believe them, let alone, the mother of one of our wives.”
“You are a sick man Gruncharov,” I muttered.
“Oh yes, indeed I am, but lets be honest, aren’t we all a little bit twisted deep down inside. Take you for example. A seemingly normal, straight-laced, (if you’ll excuse the pun), Swedish career woman and mother. And yet didn’t you spend a considerable amount of your spare time reading the filth that I wrote for pleasure. What did you get out of it eh, Elvira? (You don’t mind me calling you Elvira do you? Oh good, I’m glad you don’t). Did you fantasise about being corsetted, rendered helpless, a slave to some perverted man’s desires? Hmm… it seems like you did.”
“Fantasies are one thing, reality is another.”
“Not in my world it isn’t Elvira, not in the world of the Society.”
“You are all sick, twisted perverts. Treating women like animals, how could you?”
“Animals! Animals? No, no, Madame, you get us wrong. You haven’t read our histories thoroughly enough. We don’t treat them like animals. How many animals live in the luxury that our wives do, never having to work, always dressed in the finest clothes? No, Elvira, our wives are not animals, they’re dolls. Toys to play with, such as your Maria was when you found her.”
“Let her go Gruncharov, take me instead, but don’t let my innocent little baby suffer!”
“Oh Elvira, you know I can’t do that. You know our rules, once a wife, always a wife. Hmm… taking you though, that might be a possibility. Ha! Ha!”
“You mental case…”
“Perhaps so, perhaps not. You however, have no mental problems. In fact, your brain is extremely astute. You found Zierikzee and van Hessel’s house all by yourself. You even found the document and translated it. Well done!”
“You knew about the document?”
“Of course we did. We placed it there. We still own that house actually, that lady worked for us. We put it there to lead you on to the next stage in your journey.”
“So it wasn’t genuine?”
“Oh, it was genuine alright, every last word of it. Do you know, you’re the first woman that our secrets have ever been revealed to. Don’t you feel proud?”
“Oh we knew that you were coming there as well. The fisherman, whose boat you hired, he was one of us. In fact, he was the minister who owns the house. He thought a spot of role play would be fun.”
“And Ana Rosa?”
“Oh no, that was just chance. We didn’t plan for her to come over like that and for you to rescue her. Don’t worry by the way, she’s back in the Training Centre now. When she got to Mexico City she was taken into Customs, knocked out and transported back to Jakarta on the very same place that she’d arrived on, only this time, as freight, similar to how young Araksia was transported in my tale.”
“Was that true? Kevork, was that you?”
“Oh no, no. Kevork was just a friend. Araksia was never my wife, though I must admit to having her once, with his permission of course. I’d always admired that girl, she had something about her, as did her daughter. When she appeared stoned in that Victorian Ball, My! What a sight! But excuse me, I digress.”
“So if that was true, why are the Society not all in Saudi Arabia.”
“Oh Elvira, many of them are. But only the Americans. Just because of that little leakage, it didn’t mean that the whole worldwide organisation had to emigrate to the desert. America, hmm… an interesting country, and with a lot of very perverted people in fact. It had always been a fertile recruiting ground for the Society, but then that Clinton came in. He might have been immoral in public, but he cracked down on stuff like our activities. Luckily they booted his lot straight out and we’ve got the ones who talk a lot about God and morals but realistically only worship Mammon in again. I reckon we’ll be returning to that fair land soon enough.”
“The transsexual stuff is a new line, some people like it, particularly the Arabs. They like that Purdah School too. After all, for a wife of an Arab member of the Society it’s all so much harder. Not only have you got to learn to live without your arms, but also there’s all that cultural baggage to deal with, staying inside, the veil, all that.”
“Sick, sick. You’re all so sick…”
“Indeed we are my dear, and we revel in it. Me particularly. As you know, my family has a long history with the Society, and I must admit that I am currently very much enjoying my newest, and fourth wife.”
“However did you get her to agree to marry you?”
“Oh it was easy. Come on Elvira, didn’t you work out how our little Training Centre works these days?”
”No, I mean, they were allowed their arms…”
“Allowed everything, except the one thing that they want. Our gents go in there and just pick the lady that most turns them on. Then we start the treatment…”
“Treatment, yes, the Love Drug.”
“Yes… Elvira, have you ever wondered why humankind with all its great scientific advances, has not yet been able to produce a drug that can emulate the extremely simple hormonal effects as falling in love? Why, because we have collared the secret and refused to let it onto the market. We have this drug, here is some in this syringe in my hand, that causes people to fall in love with the person that we choose. When a man picks his girl, we feed her a mild dose in her food and she falls in love with him. As time goes by we increase the dosage until she cannot refuse him. Even if he promised to torture her endlessly, cut off her breasts without anesthetic and feed her to the vultures after marriage, she’d still go through with it. Love is a powerful force my dear. Here, let me show you.”
And to my horror, he injected the contents of his syringe into my arm.
“I must admit,” he added, “that was a slightly stronger does than we normally give. I do hope that you will be able to take it. After all, I certainly don’t want you falling in love with me do I? The kidnapped falling head over heels for the kidnappers. Now there’s a term for that isn’t there, wait… what is it?… Stockholm Syndrome, that’s it? OH dear, perhaps you will fall in love with me after all? Isn’t Malmo rather near to Stockholm? Ha! Ha! Now, my dear, do you have anymore questions?”
“Maria, how is she? Is the mask permanent?”
“Oh she is happy enough, I think. To be fair I haven’t asked her, but I imagine so. After all, she always longed to be a fairytale princess didn’t she, and I have turned her into one. She is required to wear those fabulous gown each and every day, and her corsetting is coming on. Very soon she will be reaching fifty centimetres I hope. Then we might start cultivating a nice stem. But as for the other stuff, well, she’s no longer on the Love Drug, so I’m afraid I might repel her a bit but that doesn’t matter too much. We all have our cross to bear, do we not? And her Venus corset – she was in it when you met her, those arms were fake dolly arms by the by – well, she complains of it being uncomfortable. But fear not, the mask is not permanent, after all I wouldn’t wish to hide such a lovely visage as hers forever would I? No, she just wears that in the evenings or whenever I am away. It is an ingenious little device you know. It has an exact replica of my penis fitted on the back that fits snugly in her mouth. And the eyes, those beautiful large blue ones, they only allow two pinholes for vision. Good eh?”
By now though, I was not listening to Gruncharov. Instead I was concentrating on some peculiar changes occurring within me. Firstly, I could feel the paralysing drug wearing off. I could flex my fingers and toes and feel my stomach breathing. The second change however, was far more disturbing. I could feel myself becoming attracted to Gruncharov. I watched his eyes and mouth. They fascinated me. He was so handsome, so muscular, so mature. Yes, he was sick, sick as could be, but that was sexy. Oh, to be with a man like that, oh, to be with HIM! But Stop! Stop! I said to myself, this is all chemically generated. This is not like the true, real, everlasting love that you felt for Owe. And yet, yet… drugs could never produce anything like this. This WAS the real thing, he was adorable. That sick man who had enslaved my daughter was the gentleman of my dreams, the Knight in Shining Armour that I’d been waiting for! He was my King. I was jealous, jealous as hell of my bitch of a daughter who had stolen him from me. I wanted him, he should have been MY husband! Young bitch taking a man thirty years her senior! “Oh David!” I exclaimed.
He grinned. “My Elvira,” he said.
“Take me, David, take me now!”
“No, Elvira, no.”
“Why not?! Please!!!”
“Because I cannot…”
“Because I only accept women without the use of their arms.”
I hesitated. I knew where this was leading. I tried to fight, but the desire was overwhelming. “Make me armless then!” I cried.
“No, Elvira, I will not.” Then he picked up a garment from the floor and gave it to me. I gasped in horror, I recognised it for what it was.
A Venus Corset.
“I will accept you, let you live with me and Maria for the rest of your life so long as you promise to wear this. I will not make you armless Elvira, you must do it yourself.”
I looked at the garment and contemplated the years of suffering, restraint, domination and horror that were before me if I placed it around my torso. And yet… yet all of that was nothing compared to the emptiness, the living death that was life without him.
I picked it up, placed it around my body and crossed my arms behind my back.
“Lace me up!” I said.
He smiled. “That I will Elvira, but first I must do something else. You must appreciate that an ugly old woman like you can never attract me, but instead can only repulse. Besides, I can’t have your daughter learning who her new friend is, can I? No, of course not, so instead I have had this mask made, perversely enough, an exact replica of your daughter’s virginial face, for you to wear. And this one by the way, is permanent. Welcome to my household, Elvira!”
And as he placed the plastic cocoon over my face and my Maria’s face stared back at me in the mirror, and my vision was reduced to two tiny pinholes, my arms bound and useless, I embarked upon my new life as a faceless, nameless, helpless doll in the mansion of David Gruncharov.